The Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges recently launched their 2011 Strong Kids Campaign. “Through the Y, thousands of young people are learning values and positive behaviors while exploring their own unique talents and interests in order to build lasting relationships," said Richard K. Gorab, President and CEO of the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges.  "But we can't do it without the support of the community," added Mr. Gorab.
 
This year's goal for the Y's Strong Kids Campaign is to raise $1 million in pledges. "We have thousands of donors that support the Y from year to year." said Ted Foung, Chairman of the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges’ Strong Kids Campaign.  "We have donors that give as much as $75,000 all the way down to $5 and they're all very important to help us reach the goal," added Mr. Foung.
 
According to the Y, requests for financial assistance have increased in the last two years prompting a need to increase the Strong Kids Campaign goal over last year's total amount raised of $935,000.   All donations made to the Y's Strong Kids Campaign are tax deductible and go directly to providing financial assistance and program support for the deserving families and children served by the Y throughout New Jersey.
 
“Being members of the YMCA has really brought such joy and happiness into our lives. The kids have learned how to swim. They have gotten lessons in self-esteem, courage, and many more with laughter, joy and love. As a widow with seven children, I am thankful for the help and could never make it without you,” said a YMCA Widow and Financial Assistance Recipient.
 
The Strong Kids Campaign will run through March 14th when the Y will hold its victory celebration at Hanover Manor.
 
The Y is for Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility and is accessible to all people.  Financial assistance is available to individuals and families who cannot afford the full cost of our programs and services.
For more information about the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges or their Strong Kids Campaign please call 973-758-9622 or visit www.metroymcas.org.
 
The Y is a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the foundations of communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the country, 2,687 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being while providing opportunities to give back and support the community.
 
The Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges is the largest Y in the state of New Jersey, serving over 164,000 members and program participants annually.  Its mission is to enrich the lives of the children, families and communities it serves, through programs that build spirit, mind and body, welcoming all people, in an environment nurturing positive values. Its five branch facilities, located in East Orange, Livingston, Maplewood, Hardyston and Stillwater, provide a wide variety of services and activities:
• Quality all-day and after-school childcare, pre-school classes, recreational and enrichment programs e.g. swimming and other sports, arts, computer activities and day and sleep-away camps.
• Programs for adolescents and teens that include sports, parties and club activities.
• Programs for adults and seniors.